A violent flashmob by a team of juvenile woman sent one student to the hospital and ended in several phone thefts in what police and a victim say was an attack on students at an off-campus party.
Three teenagers, two who were aged 14 and one who was 15, were arrested late on the night of Friday, Oct. 18, after the incident on the 1800 block of North Gratz Street and charged with robbery, theft, assault and possession of stolen property, Acting Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said. Due to the suspects ages, their names were not released.
Leone said that police believed there to be between six and seven suspects in the case, all young women. Additionally, Leone said other groups of juveniles could have been involved.
A freshman student, who asked that The Temple News not release her name because she does not know her attackers’ identities, said she was outside a party she was attending on the 1800 block of North Gratz Street when she was dragged by her hair into the street where she said she was punched, beaten and scratched by 10 or more girls for about five minutes, in which time she said her phone was also taken.
Earlier in the night, the student said, she was dancing in the basement when someone bumped into her and she spilled her drink, though it did not lead to conflict at the time. Around 20 minutes later she was outside helping a friend try to find a lost phone when she found herself being dragged by attackers whose faces she said she could not see.
“I kept asking what I did, what was happening and why,” she said.
When two of her friends saw the commotion from the party, she said they ran into the scrum to drag her out, and in the process also got their phones stolen.
“I was used as a distraction for phones to be stolen,” the student said, adding that one of her friend’s phone was grabbed while trying to call 911.
The student said she was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where she was treated for bruises and later spoke to Philadelphia police where she answered questions till 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
Leone said this is the first incident between a large group of juveniles and students that CSS has dealt with in his time. He said that CSS will be working to enforce city curfew hours for juveniles around campus.
“That’s a little troubling having these kids wandering around with these parties,” he said.
The student victim said she has learned from the incident, which she described as a case of being in the “wrong place, wrong time.”
John Moritz can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @JCMoritzTU.